Awaiting the End Times? A new car helps
Nick Bunkley is a staff reporter for Automotive News.
In case your Mayan word-a-day calendar has gone missing, let me remind you that we humans have less than a month to live.
Armageddon is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 21, which means the whole presidential campaign was just a big waste of time. On the plus side, Notre Dame won't get to play for the national championship.
It also means the next few weeks are prime car-shopping time. After all, dealers can't take their unsold inventory to the afterlife, and consumers don't want to spend their final month driving a 2001 Dodge Stratus with a dented rear bumper.
So before death and destruction rain upon us, the Humberview Group, which has four General Motors dealerships in the Toronto area, saw a chance to go out with one last blowout event.
Since early November, the dealerships have been running radio ads announcing "apocalyptic pricing on all remaining 2012 models, while supplies and the third planet from the sun last."
"Mayan Motor Mayhem!" screams a banner on Humberview's Web site, mynextgm.ca, which features a handy countdown to the End Times. "If the world ends, you don't pay!"
Says one ad: "If you want to get your hands on a deeply discounted Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, or GMC, it's now or never -- literally."
Another one offers more details about what the Mayan prophecy entails: "We're talking super volcanoes, pestilence, asteroids and other really crazy stuff, like a 2012 Chevy Cruze with zero-percent financing for up to 84 months."
Michael Carmichael, the dealer principal at one of Humberview's stores, City Buick-Chevrolet-Cadillac, said the ads, conceived and narrated by another executive at the company, have paid off. Showroom traffic and sales have spiked, not that it will matter a few weeks from now.
"The challenge with marketing today is nothing works anymore," Carmichael said. "We were looking for something that rises above the clutter. Heck, if we go, we go; if we don't, let's have some fun."
You can reach Nick Bunkley at email@example.com. -- Follow Nick on